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Annual Meeting, Baltimore, November 23-26, 2013

Q Section

Narratological Readings of Q – in Conversation with the Contributions of Harry Fleddermann and Michael Labahn

H.T. Fleddermann (2005) and M. Labahn (2010) have introduced narratological approaches into Q studies; this new trend will be explored in this session.

 

Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM, Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel, Room: Blake.

 

Presider: STEVEN R. JOHNSON, Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA (5 min)

 

HARRY T. FLEDDERMANN, Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI: The Resurrection of Jesus in the Plot of Q (25 min)

 

MICHAEL LABAHN, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle an der Saale, Germany: Jesus, the Son of Man Figure as a Narrative Character in the Q Document: From Different Traditions to a Unifying Figure (25 min)

 

Discussion (10 min) 

 

Break (5 min)

 

DIETER T. ROTH, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany: Narratological Readings and the Q Parables: Less is More (20 min)

 

INHEE PARK, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea: From desert to the kingdom of God: The narrative space of the Temptation story (20 min)

 

Break

 

THOMAS KLAMPFL, Karl-Franzens-Universität, Graz, Austria: Prayer to the Father in the Sayings Source Q: Q 11:2b-4, 9-13 (20 min)

 

Discussion (first among the presenters, then open discussion, 15 min)

 

 

 

HARRY T. FLEDDERMANN, Alverno College, Milwaukee, WI: The Resurrection of Jesus in the Plot of Q

The author of Q invented the gospel genre - a narrative account of the ministry of Jesus that raises two questions: Who is Jesus? and What does it mean to be Jesus' disciple? As a narrative Q has an identifiable plot which begins with John's Preaching and includes the entire ministry of Jesus up to the crucifixion. What happens then? In Q does God respond to the cross by raising Jesus as we find in Paul and the rest of the New Testament, or does Q presume that Jesus' vindication took the form of an assumption as some scholars have suggested? This paper will argue from the text of Q, the narrative structure of Q, and the theological structure of Q that the plot of Q leads from the cross to the resurrection.

 

 

MICHAEL LABAHN, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle an der Saale, Germany: Jesus, the Son of Man Figure as a Narrative Character in the Q Document: From Different Traditions to a Unifying Figure

Many studies on the Son of Man title in Q were related to its history of tradition background, to its pre-history in the traditions of Q or its literary development (Vaage, Kloppenborg). By using a narrative interpretation of the Son of Man figure in Q I do not deny any diachronic approach to the title, but the focus is on the function of the figure in the document itself read as a literary unity. By analyzing the different sayings within a narrative approach it can be shown that the different sayings on the Son of Man with their different points complement each other in supporting the plot of the whole Q Document. The readers take part in the process of developing the plot in Q by combining the different accents of the Son of Man figure. The Son of Man as narrative figure is used to understand the presence of the addressees and their challenges by referring to the future return of the Son of Man. By this, the Son of Man figure is used to make sense from the past for the presence in the light of a better future. With the new narrative approach we may shed new light on the problem of the Son of Man in Q which is a "highly controversial one" (Christopher Tuckett).

 

 

DIETER T. ROTH, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, Germany: Narratological Readings and the Q Parables: Less is More

The recent works of Harry Fleddermann and Michael Labahn focusing on narratological readings of Q have been a welcome addition to the field of Q studies, and many of their thoughts and suggestions have stimulated my own work on the Q parables. At the same time, however, my study of Q has attempted both considerably less and considerably more than Fleddermann and Labahn. "Considerably less" in that my skepticism concerning our ability to reconstruct the precise content, exact order, and verbatim wording of Q has made me rather more hesitant than these two scholars to consider narratival elements and structures in Q as a whole. "Considerably more" in that this skepticism concerning precise Q reconstructions has led me to pursue a new methodological approach for "accessing" Q. Instead of attempting to reconstruct a verbatim text of the Q parables, I have approached these parables as an "intertext" into which insight can be gained based on the narratival and metaphorical elements that Matthew and Luke found in their source. Thus, my very approach to Q is based entirely on narratology and imagery. For this reason, perhaps this presentation of Q parables in dialogue with the works of Fleddermann and Labahn can be summed up simply as "less is more."

 

 

INHEE PARK, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea: From desert to the kingdom of God: The narrative space of the Temptation story

One of the purposes of a narratological approach to the study of Q is to explain the socio-historical context of Q through a world which Q represents. The narrative world is mingled with aspirations and concerns of people; however, the intentions of the narrative can serve as indicators of the social locus of Q. This paper focuses on the narrative space of the Temptation story (Q 4:1-13). Its role will be presented as a part of the prologue of the Q narrative. The prologue introduces Q as a narrative derived from the ordinary poor people of Roman Galilee who believe that forgiving brings about God's kingdom. The Temptation story (4:1-13) intensely and symbolically displays the issues of Q in its narrative space which is involved with the social locus of the people behind Q, in spite of its mythical elements and obvious citations from the Old Testament. Considering the fact that the narrative selectively chooses the meaningful and relevant anecdotes/events, the list of Jesus temptations implies the immediate issues of the particular circumstances of people in Roman Palestine such as hunger, rejection of the temple and Roman world. This is enforced by the fact that narrative space is critically important for efforts to perceive the relationship between characters and objects as well as the setting and movements of the protagonist and antagonist. The socio-political symbolic places which are involved with the devil's activity in this temptation story displays Q's intention of establishing the spatial framework in this regard. Moreover, the unusual locale of desert and the contrast between the dynamic actions of the devil and the passivity of Jesus throughout the temptation story plays a symbolic role in revealing the characteristics of the mission of the Q people. Thus as the prologue of the Q Temptation story unfolds, the entire progression of the narrative Q moves from the desert to the kingdom of God.

 

 

THOMAS KLAMPFL, Karl-Franzens-Universität, Graz, Austria: Prayer to the Father in the Sayings Source Q: Q 11:2b-4, 9-13 

This paper has two focal points: In a first step the designation of God as father is examined shortly: God as father in the Old Testament, in the intertestamental writings, in the rabbinic literature and in the Sayings Source Q. In a very influential article Joachim Jeremias wrote that Jesus' address of God as "my father" is unique, that abba means "my father" and that abba originates in the familiar and informal language of the Aramaic speaking family. Against this I will argue that Jesus never used the appellation "my father", that "my father" is not unique in Palestinian Judaism and that abba means only "father". A summary of the meaning of the designation of God as father and of its importance as a narrative character in Q follows. In a second step Q 11:9-13 is investigated. The line of reasoning and the meaning of the section are pointed out. Further the overall narrative and theological understanding of prayer to the Father in the Sayings Source Q is outlined. Thus, this paper offers some observations in dialogue with the narrative interpretations of Q by Harry T. Fleddermann and Michael Labahn.

Traces of Q in Early Christianity: The Q+/Papias Hypothesis by Dennis R. MacDonald, “Two Shipwrecked Gospels” (Atlanta: SBL, 2012)

In his new book "Two Shipwrecked Gospels: The Logoi of Jesus and Papias's Exposition of Logia about the Lord" (2012) D.R. MacDonald presents a new model for Q's role in Early Christianity. Taking this model as its starting point, the session will discuss the early reception of Q beyond Matthew and Luke.

 

Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM, Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel, Room: Peale B.

 

Presider: ALAN K. KIRK, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (5 min)

 

DENNIS R. MACDONALD, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA: The Q+/Papias Hypothesis and the Distribution of the Lost Gospel (30 min)

 

MICHAEL KOK and JAMES CROSSLEY, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom: Papias and Matthew's Logia: A Reference to Canonical Matthew, Q or Another Lost Writing? (20 min)

 

Discussion (10 min)

 

Break (5 min)

 

EKAPUTRA TUPAMAHU, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN: Q and a Possible Meaning of Matthew 7:6 (20 min)

 

CHRISTOPH HEIL, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria: Q, Papias and Luke: A Critical Review of Dennis MacDonald's "Q+/Papias Hypothesis" (20 min)

 

Break (5 min)

 

GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA: How a Gospel Shipwrecked into a Shipwreck? Q and the Pseudo-Clementine Grundschrift (20 min)

 

Discussion

 

 

DENNIS R. MACDONALD, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA: The Q+/Papias Hypothesis and the Distribution of the Lost Gospel

This paper gives a summary of the arguments in Two Shipwrecked Gospels: The Logoi of Jesus and Papias's Exposition of Logia about the Lord (SBL, 2012) and focuses on issues of intertextuality. In particular, Mark's knowledge of Q/Q+, Papias's knowledge of Q/Q+, and Luke's knowledge of Q/Q+ and Mark, but also Matthew and Papias's Exposition. If this perspective is correct, Papias made explicit reference to the lost Gospel and considered it an alternative "translation" of a hypothetical Hebrew Matthew.

 

MICHAEL KOK and JAMES CROSSLEY, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom: Papias and Matthew's Logia: A Reference to Canonical Matthew, Q or Another Lost Writing?

Although the remarks of Papias (cf. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. 3.39.16) that the evangelist Matthew compiled the logia in the Hebrew dialect has been traditionally understood as a reference to the "Gospel According to Matthew," an identification that continues to be supported by some scholarship (Kürzinger 1983; Gundry 2005; Bauckham 2006; Watson 2013), the interpretation that Papias was referring to a sayings source is as old as Schleiermacher (1832) and many scholars equate the logia with Q (Manson 1962; Black 1989; Casey 2010). In his recent book "Two Shipwrecked Gospels: The Logoi of Jesus and Papias's Exposition of Logia about the Lord" (2012), Dennis MacDonald plausibly makes the case that the primary referent is to canonical Matthew, though he adds that Papias's comment that "each translated them as he was able" implies that there was more than one edition of "Matthew" in circulation. MacDonald denies that there ever was a Semitic version of Matthew and argues that the appeal to translation errors was an effort to explain the similarities and differences between canonical Matthew and the sayings source Q with which he was familiar. On the contrary, this paper will argue for an Aramaic substratum behind some of the material in the Synoptic double tradition which may account for Papias's confusion that canonical Matthew was originally written in the Hebrew (i.e., Aramaic) language.

 

EKAPUTRA TUPAMAHU, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN: Q and a Possible Meaning of Matthew 7:6

In this paper, I will deal with one of the most difficult passages in the Gospel of Matthew and how the reconstruction of Q will help us understand the meaning of the passage in its redactional historical context. Ulrich Luz, for example, says this concerning the difficulty of Matthew 7:6 "This logion is a puzzle. Even its symbolic meaning is uncertain; its application and its sense in the Matthean context are a complete mystery." Hans Dieter Betz makes it more radical than that, "... the sentence had a meaning, which Matthew himself may or may not have understood." There are several issues I want to tackle in my paper. First, is this saying part of the Q? Second, how do we explain its history of redaction? Third, how do we explain the meaning of this saying in the context of the Gospel of Matthew? I will utilize Dennis R. MacDonald's methodology to reconstruct Q beyond Matthew/Luke overlaps. We can put Matthew 7:6 in category 3 in MacDonald's three kinds of logia because it is a saying entirely absent in Mark. Based on MacDonald's criteria B, C, and D, I will argue that this statement should become part of Q+ database. Furthermore, within the historical context of Jewish and Gentile relationship in the first century, I believe, we can appreciate the Matthean emphasis on Gentile mission. It would seem impossible for Matthew to refer to the Gentile community as dogs or pigs. Dog is a common metaphor among first century Jewish people for Gentiles (cf. Matthew 15). Therefore, it is natural to conclude that when Matthew saw this saying in Q, he felt very uncomfortable with it. He thinks that no one should be considered a dog or pig. He took it from the gentile mission context and put it right in the middle of his discussion of judging others (7:1-5) and asking from the Father (7:7-11). The location of this saying in the Gospel of Matthew is extremely important. Matthew saw this saying in Q, and he thought that it was very problematic. He thought that it was important to clarify this misunderstanding in order to show the need for gentile mission. To him, Gentiles were not dogs or pigs. He had a twofold strategy in dealing with this issue. First, he puts it in the Sermon on the Mount. Second, he inserts the story of a Canaanite woman in 15:21-28. Matthew in this passage is showing that everybody is highly valued in the kingdom of Heaven. At the very end of this gospel (28:19), it is recorded that Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples of the Gentiles. The idea of Gentile mission finds its climax here. Gentiles are no longer outsiders, but they should be included in the kingdom of Heaven.

 

CHRISTOPH HEIL, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria: Q, Papias and Luke: A Critical Review of Dennis MacDonald's "Q+/Papias Hypothesis"

Regarding Dennis MacDonald's alternative solution to the Synoptic Problem, this paper calls into question that Mark and Papias knew Q and that Luke knew Papias. Especially the late dating of Luke-Acts (ca. 115-120; following Richard Pervo) and the optimistic use of the scarce fragments of Papias's work for comparisons with Synoptic texts will be scrutinized. Actually only four fragments quote the words of Papias (Irenaeus, Haer. 5.33.4; Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39.3-4, 15-16; Apollinaris of Laodicea; Andrew of Caesarea). Only a handful of other fragments, though not verbatim quotations, provide probably reliable statements of points Papias made. Although it was presumably the longest piece of Christian literature that had been written until then, it is very difficult to tell what Papias's five books were actually like. In sum, although MacDonald offers many intriguing intertextual observations, it remains doubtful that they also work as sufficient source-critical arguments. For Q studies, the most important contribution of MacDonald's massive and original new book lies in its detailed investigations of Q's intertextual relations with the Hebrew Bible and early Christian literature.

 

GIOVANNI BAZZANA, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA: How a Gospel Shipwrecked into a Shipwreck? Q and the Pseudo-Clementine Grundschrift

Dennis MacDonald's new book advances the thesis that the Sayings Gospel Q survived and was productive beyond the chronological point in which its utilization by Matthew and Luke is usually posited. Following MacDonald's intriguing proposal it might be interesting to evaluate whether the presence of Q could be traced even farther. A text for which the influence of Q has been repeatedly suggested is the Pseudo-Clementine Grundschrift, dated to the end of the second century CE. Since Georg Strecker rejected this connection, however, the idea has been largely abandoned, but for the very recent contributions of Frederic Amsler and others, who have questioned the methodology employed by Strecker and collected new evidence showing a possible link between these two documents. In particular, it is remarkable to observe that the Gospel quotations that can be traced back to the Grundschrift come almost only from the double tradition and follow the order of Q; moreover, this original form of the Pseudo-Clementines present a theological profile in which Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection do not play any role. The present paper has the goal of reviewing in a systematic way the Pseudo-Clementine texts in order to evaluate whether it might be possible to confirm that Q was the source of its Gospel quotations and of its theology.

Open Session

Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM, Baltimore Convention Center, Room: 348.

 

Presider: SARAH E. ROLLENS, University of Toronto, Canada (5 min)

 

LLEWELLYN HOWES, University of Johannesburg, South Africa: Measuring and weighing psychostasia in Q 6:37-38: Intertexts from the Old Testament (20 min)

 

Discussion (7 min)

 

OLEGS ANDREJEVS, Loyola University of Chicago: The placement of the "Johannine Thunderbolt" (10:21-22) in Q (20 min)

 

Discussion (7 min)

 

STEPHAN WITETSCHEK, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany: "My father and his angels". A Relationship between Q 12:8-9 and Rev 3:5? (20 min)

 

Discussion (7 min)

 

Break (10 min)

 

ROBYN WALSH, Brown University, Providence, RI: Judaism After the Temple: A New Historical Context for Q (20 min)

 

Discussion (7 min)

 

RONALD HUGGINS, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO: Looking for the Wrong Q in the Wrong Place (20 min)

 

Discussion (7 min)

 

 

LLEWELLYN HOWES, University of Johannesburg, South Africa: Measuring and weighing psychostasia in Q 6:37-38: Intertexts from the Old Testament

The paper focuses on the relationship between Q 6:37-38 and the ancient concept of psychostasia, which is the notion that a divine or supernatural figure weighs people's souls when judging them. After introductory passages on both Q 6:37-38 and the concept of psychostasia, the paper continues to discuss intertexts from the Hebrew Scriptures, while paying particular attention to the occurrences therein of both the word 'measure' and the concept of psychostasia. The implications of these results for our interpretation of Q 6:37-38 are briefly noted. The paper anticipates follow-up work which will focus on intertexts from apocryphal and pseudepigraphical writings that originated in second Temple Judaism and are dealing with psychostasia. The ultimate intent is to explain more comprehensively the implications of such intertextual investigations for the interpretation of Q 6:37-38 and the Sayings Gospel Q as a whole.

 

OLEGS ANDREJEVS, Loyola University of Chicago: The placement of the "Johannine Thunderbolt" (10:21-22) in Q

Q 10:21-22 is the famous "Johannine Thunderbolt," a passage whose precise meaning and role in Q have long been debated by New Testament scholars with seemingly no consensus reached to this date. This crux interpretum presents the readers with a thanksgiving prayer by Jesus that appears particularly puzzling in its present context in the reconstructed Q. In his prayer Jesus appears to express gratitude to God, whom he calls Father, for something that contradicts the very purpose of the immediately preceding mission discourse (Q 10:2-16). In a shocking turn of events, Jesus appears to rejoice over the selective disclosure of God to the group termed "children" and stresses his prerogative to reveal the Father to whom he wishes. The placement of Q 10:21-22 at the conclusion of the mission discourse betrays its secondary compositional origin. As presently positioned, the couplet appears to provide a commentary which renders the mission's failure - a major redactional theme in Q - a part of God's original intention. Yet nowhere else in the document is such a retrospective change of heart on display. What is more, it clashes sharply with the redaction's more typical castigation of the opposition on the apparent assumption that the Q group's message should have been understood. In the field of Q studies the work of John S. Kloppenborg constitutes the current Status Quaestionis on the document's compositional history and redaction. Working with Kloppenborg's stratification of the document, I make a literary-critical case to reassign Q 10:21-22 from its present location in the initial redactional layer (Q2) to the document's latest stratum (Q3). In the process, I coordinate Q 10:21-22 with the Temptation Story to propose a new theological rationale for the Q3 stratum.

 

STEPHAN WITETSCHEK, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Germany: "My father and his angels". A Relationship between Q 12:8-9 and Rev 3:5?

The question of a possible relationship between Synoptic tradition and the Book of Revelation has been quite an exotic one until 2010, when Paul Penley and Daniele Tripaldi, independently of each other, picked up the topic. This paper will follow a track laid out by them and engage the promise to the conqueror in Rev 3:5 as a parallel to Matt 10:32-33 par. Luke 12:8-9, hence Q 12:8-9. The leading question is whether the connection between the sayings can in fact be pinned down at the level of Q and, if so, what this means for the spread of Jesus tradition (and possibly of Q).

 

ROBYN WALSH, Brown University, Providence, RI: Judaism After the Temple: A New Historical Context for Q

This paper proposes that saying-source material is no less cohesive or more susceptible to interpolation than other forms of ancient literature, and that Q in particular can be understood as a collection of teachings from Judean figures (Jesus and John the Baptist) who did not center their philosophies on the Judean Temple. I begin with a critical analysis of the status quaestionis within the field of Q scholarship regarding three of the most pervasive assumptions about Q: (1) that it is a document that is self-evidently Christian, (2) that it possesses clear compositional strata and, (3) from these strata one can cull information about the so-called "communities" that drafted them. I then imagine another social process for Q, namely that it is better understood as a War or post-War document produced by thinkers reflecting on Judean teacher-types whose viewpoint was not centered on the Judean Temple. By way of conclusion, I consider a theory of social and symbolic change as a potential aid in understanding the thesis I am proposing-namely, that so-called gospel material on Jesus' teachings and biographical details may be the product of a kind of post-70 CE reimagining of how exempla from these teachings and life events might serve as a forum for the negotiation of a new cosmic order after the destruction of the Temple.

 

RONALD HUGGINS, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO: Looking for the Wrong Q in the Wrong Place

Minimal Q is an important starting point for reconstructing Q, but it can never amount to more than half the equation for arriving at the most accurate possible picture of Matthew's and Luke's non-Marcan source(s). A more adequate approach begins by thoroughly investigating Luke's non-Marcan source(s) first, bracketing out Matthew as if it didn't exist (which it probably didn't when Luke wrote). Several reasons: (1) Minimal Q derives its shape from an arbitrary relation. If Matthew and Luke write independently, their non-Marcan overlaps must be coincidental, revealing more about where the two evangelists' concerns arbitrarily intersect than the interests and purposes of the original author or compiler of Q. (2) By artificially casting Matthew and Luke as equal partners in Q, minimal Q also takes on an artificial shape. Reason: It is not the evangelist who includes the most of Q in his gospel that ultimately determines the shape of Q, but the one who leaves the most of it out, the latter becoming gatekeeper of what gets in and what does not. Matthew's more intentionally selective editorial procedures identify him as this gatekeeper. (3) Consequently minimal Q is tainted from the beginning by a Matthean bias, even to the point where scholars sometimes unreflectively allow Matthew to serve as arbiter in distinguishing between Luke's Q and L material. In reality, of course, Matthew's particular choices from his non-Marcan source(s) have no direct influence whatever on whether a given saying in Luke comes from Q or L or wherever. (4) This Matthean bias allows our picture of Q as a sayings source to be unduly influenced by the simple fact of Matthew's preference for using his non-Marcan source(s) to build speeches, extracting sayings out of their potentially more-original narrative contexts (e.g., as sometimes suggested in Lukan parallels). (5) Where do we go from here?

Contact

Institute of New Testament Studies - office
Heinrichstraße 78 8010 Graz
Elke Handl-Prutsch Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 6050

Monday, 8 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Tuesday, 8 a.m. - 4 p. m.
Wednesday, 8 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Thursday, 8 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Contact

Head of the Institute Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christoph Heil Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 6051

Web:neues-testament.uni-graz.at

Consultation Hour: Tuesday, 1 – 2 p.m. or by arrangement (in any case after registration in the secretariat)

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